On the one hand, soap opera characters are pretty much indestructible. Toss them over cliffs, burn them up in fires, poison them, drop them in vats of acid, and it’s all good. They pop up smiling.
But on the other hand, these people are such wilting flowers that if you mess with their love lives they’re ready to lay down and die. They can have fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends aplenty, but without that True Love to make it all worthwhile, what’s the point? Which means that anytime someone gets sick or injured on a soap, someone, somewhere is going to be called on to give that person a Will to Live.
A year ago, everyone was telling Steve that he had to give Kayla a reason to live, when they were stuck in the quarantine together. But Kayla had paid her dues: she was on the other side back in 1987, when she had to marry Jack to give him a reason to live.
So the tradition continues. On Friday (11/9), EJ was shot during his wedding to Sami, and based on his “I can’t feel my legs,” we’re looking at a paralyzed EJ. Stefano wasted no time enlisting Sami’s aid:
Stefano: You vowed to be Elvis’s wife—till death do you part. He is not going to die here, on his wedding day. I will not allow it.
Sami: That’s out of your hands.
Stefano: But it’s in yours. My son loves you. You can give him the will to live — for you and for his son. You promise me that you will be that woman — the wife that he deserves… in every way. Keep that promise… and I will keep mine. I will see you at the hospital, Mrs. Dimera.
There are many variations to the Will to Live story, so this one with EJami could go in any of several different directions, among them:
1. EJ recovers, but realizes that Sami only stays with him out of guilt, so he pretends to still be paralyzed in order to keep her.
2. EJ recovers, realizes that Sami only stays with him out of guilt, and exacts revenge.
3. EJ recovers, and Sami realizes through pretending to have feelings for him that she actually does have feelings for him.
4. EJ recovers, Sami dumps him, and it forces him to finally move on.
One thing is certain, however, and that is that EJ will recover. That’s one constant in these stories. No matter how sick the person is or how badly he is injured, no matter how poorly the other person simulates feelings of love and affection for the injured party, giving someone a Will to Live always, always works. No one ever dies on a soap saying, “Sorry, I guess our love just wasn’t strong enough.”